The South Atlantic Bite
June 13-17, 2022 Council Meeting in Key West
Register now to attend via webinar and for public comment; meeting materials available
Members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will meet June 13-17 to discuss federal fisheries management issues. The meeting will take place at the Marriott Beachside Hotel in Key West, Florida.
The Council meeting week begins with a meeting of the Full Council on Monday. Meetings of the Council’s Snapper Grouper, Dolphin Wahoo, and Citizen Science Committees will be held during the middle of the week. The Council will meet again in full session beginning Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to end by noon on Friday.
Meetings are open to the public and available via webinar as they occur. Register now to attend the meetings via webinar as they occur and receive email reminders as the meeting date approaches.
Tuesday, June 14 (5 p.m. until 6 p.m.)
The Council will host an in-person, informal Question and Answer Session for the public with representatives from NOAA Fisheries and the Council.
Wednesday, June 15 (Beginning at 4 p.m.)
Hybrid Public Comment Session – this public comment session allows for both in-person and remote (via webinar) verbal public comment. Individuals intending to provide verbal public comment remotely may sign up HERE. Members of the public intending to provide verbal public comment in person will be asked to sign in at the meeting.
Online Public Comment
An online public comment form is available for written comments. These comments are accessible to the public, part of the administrative record of the meeting, and immediately available to Council members.
Additional meeting information, including meeting agendas, overviews, and briefing book materials is available from the Council’s website at: https://safmc.net/events/2022-june-council-meeting/.
Photo credit: FloridaMemory.com.
Public Hearing for Greater Amberjack Scheduled for June
Council soliciting public input now on proposed management measures in Amendment 49
The most recent stock assessment for Greater Amberjack (SEDAR 59) indicates the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring. As a result, the Council is modifying management parameters, including increasing the total annual catch limit (ACL) through Amendment 49 to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan.
Amendment 49 also includes management measures to modify allocations, modify minimum size limits for both commercial and recreational sectors, and increase seasonal commercial trip limits. Changes to the current April spawning season closure that prohibits the sale of Greater Amberjack in April and limits commercial harvest to the bag limit during the month are also being considered.
In response to public input received during scoping, the Council is considering changes to minimum size limits to reduce the difference between the current recreational size limit of 28″ fork length and the commercial minimum size limit of 36″ fork length. The public hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 15th at 4 p.m. as part of the Council’s public comment session during its meeting in Key West. Both in-person and virtual comments (via webinar) will be accepted.
A copy of draft Amendment 49 is included in the Snapper Grouper Committee briefing book materials. Written public comments may also be submitted using the online comment form for the June Council meeting. The Council will consider input from its Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel and public comment during discussions in June and consider approving the amendment for final review in September 2022.
Red Snapper Seasons Announced in South Atlantic Waters
Council continues exploring options for management of the snapper grouper complex
Each year, NOAA fisheries announces the season opening dates for Red Snapper in federal waters of the South Atlantic, and determines the length of the recreational season.
For the 2022 season, the recreational sector will open for two days, July 8 and 9, 2022 (Friday and Saturday) with a bag limit of 1 fish per person/day. The commercial sector will open for harvest on July 11, 2022 and will close at 12:01 a.m. local time on January 1st or until the commercial annual catch limit is met. There are no minimum size limits for the recreational or commercial sector.
Details about the seasonal openings are available in the Fishery Bulletin from NOAA Fisheries, including a Q&A.
Reducing Release Mortality in the Snapper Grouper Fishery
Council members continue to hear from fishermen frustrated with the limited seasons for Red Snapper. In September 2021, the Council received results from SEDAR 73, the most recent stock assessment for Red Snapper, indicating the stock is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The assessment also indicated the majority of Red Snapper fishing mortality results from release mortality rather than landings.
The Council is considering options to reduce encounters with fish that cannot be retained and reduce release mortality for Red Snapper and other species in the snapper grouper management complex. The Council will consider feedback from its Snapper Grouper Advisory Panel and its Scientific and Statistical Committee as it continues to develop Snapper Grouper Regulatory Amendment 35 during the June Council meeting.
Stay Up to Date with the Latest Regulations
Download the free Fish Rules mobile app to keep up with the latest regulations. Saltwater fishing regulations are available for both federal and state waters from Maine to Texas to Hawaii. Fish Rules uses your phone’s GPS and calendar to show the regulations you need. Out to sea with no signal? Manually select your fishing location to see relevant regulations. The app includes crisp illustrations and photos to help identify your catch. A commercial version is now available!
NOAA Fisheries to Host Virtual Workshop on Marine Mammal Deterrents
NOAA Fisheries will host a workshop via webinar on June 1&2, 2022 from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. The workshop is designed to share information about marine mammal deterrents, listen to fishermen and learn about their encounters with marine mammals, and advance cooperative efforts that reduce fishery interactions, economic and time loss to the fishing industry, and marine mammal injury and death. Email Jessica Powell, NOAA Fisheries at email@example.com and copy workshop facilitator Rich Wilson firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Valor in the Atlantic Expedition Explores Historic Ship Wrecks
The non-profit Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration and multiple partners are conducting missions to explore historic shipwrecks, including the USS Monitor within the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The sanctuary is about 16 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras. The NOAA Ship Nancy Foster serves as the research platform for two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that offer high-definition video live as the expedition continues. Details are available from the GFOE website.
Mark Your Calendar
Keep track of meetings scheduled by the Council from the Meetings page of the website and register for meeting webinars as information becomes available. Register early and receive email reminders as the meeting date(s) approach!
June 13-17, 2022
SAFMC June Meeting
Marriott Beachside Hotel
Key West, FL
June 28, 2022
1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wreckfish Shareholders Meeting
Key Largo, FL
June 29, 2022
8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Spiny Lobster Advisory Panel Meeting
Key Largo, FL
June 30, 2022
8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Golden Crab Advisory Panel Meeting
Key Largo, FL